Outside it finally feels like fall; our scholars have been building, digging, planting, reenacting, volunteering, singing, and so much more; and we’re closing in on the end of the first quarter of the school year!
We are proud that on October 10th, IDEA hosted our first ever schoolwide PSAT/SAT day, during which nearly all of our scholars completed this important college admission test, through a partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the College Board. The test was given to scholars for free, and scholars were able to request that their results be sent directly to colleges and universities they may be interested in attending. By giving scholars the opportunity to take these tests during the school day at no cost to families, IDEA is eliminating a possible barrier to college, to clear the path for our scholars to succeed.
Nearly every day we receive good news in the mail as college acceptances for our seniors come rolling in. As of mid-October, nearly half of our seniors have been admitted to at least one college or university. While we recognize that not every scholar will pursue the same post-secondary path, it is our responsibility to ensure that our graduates have options.
To help our scholars envision their futures, our Workforce Friday program is going strong, with several local organizations meeting with scholars each month. This Friday we welcome the Metropolitan Police Department introducing its MPD Cadet Program, DC Fire & EMS introducing its FEMS Cadet Program, Bank of America providing financial literacy tips, the DC Department of Employment Services’ Office of Youth Programs, and SchoolTalk to introduce its Youth Leadership Network and Music Production & Career program.
This month the DC Public Charter School Board will send a team of reviewers to our campus to conduct a Qualitative Site Review. This process supports our application to renew our charter, required every five years, since we are now in our 20th year of operations. Visitors will be making classroom observations and will report back to our administrative team and the DCPCSB to provide insights into what’s working well at IDEA and areas where we can improve.
Finally, next time you stop by the school, please take the time to visit our new garden, which scholars, staff, and community partners worked hard down in the dirt to build and plant. The garden is part of our RiverSmart Schools grant from the DC Department of Energy and the Environment, and will improve the health of the Anacostia River by reducing storm runoff, provide a new destination for pollinators which benefits our food supply, and serve as a living classroom for our scholars. Creating the garden was truly a collaborative effort, and we especially thank Trinh Doan of DCDEE, Lauren Wheeler of Natural Resources Design, Lauren Meyer of Casey Trees, and our own ACAD instructor Ian Milne for their leadership.
Parents are an essential part of our support system for scholars, and we welcome and encourage parent involvement at IDEA! Please plan to attend our next Parent Boosters meeting on Thursday, November 8 at 5:30pm in room 100. We have a wide variety of areas where we would love help from parents and appreciate any assistance you can offer.
My door is always open and I love to hear from our families and community supporters.